HEALTH / FITNESS
Information about fitness, health, nutrition and weight loss
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In this Section....
- August Recipes
- Daily Diet Tip
- The Salad
- TV and Obesity
August Recipes - Click Here
It's August, and that means the weather will be getting hot! Who wants to cook when it's so nice to be outside? So, this month we've put together a meal that means less time in the kitchen, and more time out in the sunshine, just relaxing and grilling up some great food. We're making use of yummy fruits and vegetables that are rampant this time of year, and even using an old favorite soda for our entree. So, fire up the grill, put on your bathing suits, and plug in the hose, the backyard is the venue for this meal, and the sunshine is the main attraction! Stay cool!!
We'd love to feature one of your favorite recipes in any one of our monthly issues, just send them on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from all of you in the following months!
What could be healthier or more low fat than salad? Well, it depends what’s in it and on it. In its basic state—a bed of salad leaves with chopped vegetables, it is indeed low fat and healthy. It’s what is added to our salads that gets us into trouble. Salads prepared at restaurants or fast-food joints are not always the healthiest dishes on the menu. And those salad kits from the grocery store, with condiments and toppings included, offer convenience but may not necessarily be low fat. The salads listed below should raise some red flags.
High Fat Salads and Dressings
- Chef-style salads are high in saturated fat, thanks to all that meat and cheese—and that’s before we even think about the dressing.
- Cobb salads feature bacon, eggs, blue cheese, avocado and creamy dressing.
- Classic Caesar salad with its egg-based dressing, croutons and cheese is high in both fat and cholesterol.
- Taco salads, with their cheese, refried beans, guacamole, ground beef, sour cream and deep-fried shell, are an all-round nutritional nightmare.
- Greek salads are often loaded with oil and feta cheese.
- Asian salads sport fried noodles and a generous sprinkling of nuts.
- Dressings in general, especially ranch, blue cheese, thousand island, high oil-to-vinegar ratio vinaigrettes, and regular mayonnaise or sour cream.
No one can eat plain salad for long, though, unless you're a bunny, so how can we add flavor and interest to our salads without overloading them with calories and fat?
Building a Healthy Low Fat Salad
- Vary your salad leaves. Iceberg lettuce is, well, crunchy and watery, and that’s about it. Boost your intake of vitamins and minerals with dark-leaf greens. Try peppery arugula or watercress, romaine leaves, baby spinach, mixed spring greens, red-leaf lettuce, mache, radicchio and endive.
- Add beans—black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, white beans and edamame.
- In pasta or rice salads, use whole grains to boost your intake of fiber.
- Try grains such as quinoa, bulgur wheat and couscous(a kind of pasta/grain crossover).
- If you like meat in your salad, choose lean cuts of low sodium deli meats, and grilled or roast chicken and turkey. Use lean Canadian bacon instead of regular bacon.
- Substitute water-based chunk light tuna (the pouch variety is firm and meaty) or salmon for meat, boosting your intake of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
- Use reduced fat cheeses, cottage cheese or even fat-free shredded cheese. Or try strong-flavored cheeses like Gorgonzola or Parmesan, which pack a lot of flavor in small quantities.
- Use a variety of vegetables—shredded cabbage, carrots, zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower florets, tomatoes, celery, asparagus, green beans, red onion, scallions, artichokes, sweet peppers, sliced mushrooms, jicama, cucumber, beets, fennel and eggplant.
- Add fruit—grapes, mandarin oranges, mango, strawberries, blueberries, pear, apples, plums, peaches, nectarines, cantaloupe, watermelon, blackberries. Don’t forget dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, apricots and cherries.
- If you want eggs in your salad, remove the yolks, or at least half of them.
- Include avocado from time to time. Although it's relatively high in fat (though mostly monounsaturated fat), it’s also packed with nutrients such as magnesium, potassium and vitamin E.
- Use nuts occasionally and sparingly. Almonds and walnuts contain heart-healthy fats and add a pleasing crunch and texture to salads.
- Make your own croutons using day-old bread sprinkled with dried herbs and baked on a cookie sheet coated with olive oil cooking spray.
- Make your own dressings, especially if you dislike most of the fat-free or low fat bottled varieties. If you have some plain non-fat yogurt, fat free mayonnaise or fat-free sour cream, you have a base for a creamy dressing. Low fat buttermilk is perfect, too. Just add your own herbs, spices and flavorings. For vinaigrette dressings, the usual ratio of oil to vinegar is three to one. At the very least, reverse it so you have three parts vinegar to one part oil. Or simply replace some of the oil with water, juice or fat-free broth. Use honey, mustard, garlic, herbs, shallots, ginger or other flavors to add taste and body. If it’s fruitiness you’re after, use a little pureed fruit (raspberries or mango, for instance).
More Low Fat Salad Tips
If speed and convenience are important, buy bagged salad leaves and pre-cut or shredded vegetables. If you choose salad at a restaurant, ask for dressing on the side so you can at least control how much you use. Ask if any reduced fat dressings are available. Some restaurants have them. Choose a basic vinaigrette dressing over a creamy one. And if you opt for salad next time you drive through your local fast-food joint, choose grilled chicken over crispy chicken, and use up to half of the salad dressing pouch. Leave the croutons or crispy noodles pack unopened.
For examples of low-fat salads, see http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/salad1/Low_Fat_Salads.htm
Submitted by: Maria Albus
TV and Obesity
Trying to break poor patterns of eating is difficult. One of the most difficult is our societal habit of eating while watching TV or in front of the computer. This leads to “mindless” excess caloric intake. I thought this scientific review might help people re-consider this habit and try to change.
I was reviewing the journal ‘Obesity Management,’ and was interested in the Question and Answer section.
One physician asked the expert (Dr. Nanette Stroebele of the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine), “What can I tell my overweight patients about the possible impact of television viewing and their eating behaviour?”
Her response was this: “The more research is conducted in the field of overweight/obesity and its influencing factors, the clearer it becomes that environment plays a crucial role in daily eating and exercise behaviour. When it comes to television viewing habits, there are numerous studies (Hu et al., 2003; Jeffrey and French, 1998) that support the notion that television viewing is associated with an increase in food intake. Television viewing is the third most time-consuming activity in the United States, after work and sleep (Dietz, 1990). The time spent watching television appears to be positively associated with the risk of obesity and diabetes, especially in women. Also, between-meal snacking seems to increase while viewing television (Del Toro and Greenberg, 1989; Stroebele and de Castro, 2004).”
“It is important to understand our everyday behaviour in figure out strategies for successful weigh management. Most people either already eat dinner with the television on, or turn it on after dinner. Small changes in the way a person watches might be possible and maintainable. One suggestion would be to choose a show that is interesting and then turn the television off before the person begins to surf through channels. Surfing is the first indicator that another activity might be less boring and productive than television viewing.”
“Stay busy, either only during commercials or during the entire show. Making lunches, folding clothes, anything that will keep us from walking into the kitchen, may help.”
The association with ‘screen’ time (T.V. and computer) and overweight is well proven. We must make a conscious decision not to snack during this time. The eating is mindless, and we are totally unaware of the calories consumed, and worst, have no awareness to any sense of fullness.
In order to start changing our behaviours, we must first be aware of how these behaviours are impeding our progress. If you know you’re a person who tends to eat meals or snacks in front of the TV or computer, perhaps you could try having your snack or meal at the kitchen table instead. Once you dissociate eating & ‘screen’ time, watching TV (or computer) won’t cause you to crave certain foods or become “head hungry.”
Start small! Write down your goal for the week. See if you can accomplish this goal even 2 out of 7 days. Build upon it. This is a journey; a work in progress. We must realize that the end result is worth all the building blocks we put together along the way. No matter what life throws at you, never give up on yourself! You ARE worth the effort and you CAN do this!
Submitted by: Dr. Doug
Weight Loss Surgery can be scary words or they can be words of hope. Most SSBBWs have thought of or had someone mention weight loss surgery. It's obviously not for everyone. There are SSBBWs who have accepted that they are large and always will be. There are some who like being large and don't want to change. And there are others who live day to day with pain, both physical and emotional, of carrying the extra weight that have various reasons for wanting to do something about it.
Everyone has a view on weight loss surgery be it good or bad or even neutral. Which is perfectly fine as we are all entitled to our opinions. One reader has made the decision to have weight loss surgery and will take us on her journey. What are your thoughts on weight loss surgery? Have you had weight loss surgery? Our forums are available for you to discuss and give your views on this topic.